I wanted to first wait and see how XC schooling and the dressage show went last weekend. I figured that would solidify feelings of certainty about entering and help determine which level I would sign up for.
The XC schooling and dressage show went well! Obviously. I came home feeling more confident about making a true eventing debut 2½ weeks later at Loch Moy. But then I started really looking at the calendar, my work schedule, my free time schedule, and all the responsibilities that come with life.
Non-horse chaos aside, I needed to find time to work both Griffin and Stan. Griffin needed steady dressage schooling and jumping; Stan needs miles, miles, miles. Because I have someone else (Lauren, the junior I'm mentoring for endurance) relying on me for the RBTR commitment, I can't let Stan's conditioning slide more than it already has. (Ahahaha, we're gonna wing this ride so hard.) But I also don't want to let Griffin's schedule slip away to nothing in the short time before the July 26 event!
Additionally, my work life is a steady state of stress lately and I have had a lot of family commitments and photo gigs lately. I'm managing to climb every weekend right now, barely, but mountain biking has definitely been taking a back seat, which makes me a little sad. It's been hard to balance work life with personal life with horse life lately!
So perhaps you can see where this is going.
Something had to give.
Something had to give soon or I was going to swirl ever downward into the maelstrom of chaos that comes from juggling far too many balls at once. The fire wasn't hot enough to balance all the irons I'd put in it. I needed to put some balls down and take some irons out of that fire if I was going to keep my sanity.
And so I made the best decision I could that would single-handedly resolve the whole mess of things, even though it meant giving up something I was really excited about: I opted to not go to the July 26 event.
|Channeling zen aka holding back a fire-breathing grey horse; yes, this is the view from my neighborhood. I love my home.|
By doing this, I was able to move my leave at work around to provide myself more time to move the horses, more time to condition Stan, more time to focus on strengthening weaknesses with Griffin, more time to relax between my various preexisting commitments, and I'd save some money to boot.
Balancing the workout schedule of multiple horses is hard. Balancing a competition schedule with multiple equestrian disciplines is hard. Both of those things are infinitely harder to balance when you take into account the various other life responsibilities, work responsibilities, financial restraints, personal relationships, and mental peace of mind that one needs to keep moving forward each day.
Fluid planning, and being willing to cancel plans, is the best approach when you've got as many passions and hobbies as I do. I enjoy being busy and doing All The Things, but sometimes I have to cancel certain plans to fulfill others. It's not always easy to make the decision, but I can say with complete confidence that I always feel infinitely better after I make such hard decisions.
There are - and there will continue to be - plenty more opportunities to get out there with Griffin and pursue this eventing dream. We'll get there when we're meant to and it'll be all the sweeter when we do.
How about you - how do you balance horses with the rest of life? Have you had to make any hard decisions lately?